Barri Gotico, Barcelona
It is the main avenue for shoppers, strollers, and site site seeing people. The avenue stretches form the Port Vell harbor starting at Columbus monument all the way for about 2 miles to the west through retail, then upscale living area. Along the way are good decent shops, but also cheap junk sold under tent shelters for the low end buyers needing a souvenir
This is the most beautiful and most famous part of Barcelona .... the Old Gothic Neighborhood ..... inter crossing ,winding, and cobble stone streets take you back to the 17th century. The neighborhood now is filled with tons of bars, restaurants and shops offering just about anything you would ever want. Be careful at night, some streets are poorly lighted and robbery here at night is not uncommon ... during the day the masses of people are everywhere. We spent an entire afternoon here .... well worth the time to explore all the streets !!!!
Barcelona's Old Town, the Gothic quarter, sdtands in contrast with the bustling streets in the rest of the city. This part of Barcelona is not quiet at all, but things go a little more slowly and relaxed. It's the kind of place where you can spend some time walking through narrow alleys, admire buildings from centuries ago and take a small break in a little café. The most recognizable building is the Gothic Cathedral, called St. Eulalia or La Seu. But of course, there are hundreds of buildings from the Middle ages and early Renaissance to admire.
The gothic quarter is the area in which the old town of Barcelona is situated. The streets in this quarter of the city vary considerably in style; however, the old quarter is generally characterized by narrow streets and tall old buildings.
It's so easy to do the Barri Gotic or Gothic Quarter tour. Just start walking from the Plaza Reial and work your way up til the city hall - a wide plaza - and to the carrer del bisbe irurita and its surrounds where you'll find lots of old buildings and museums, and churches.
Don't forget to enter the big Cathedral of Santa Eulalia where we found live geese inside the cloister around the water fountain.
If you want detailed explanation of the buildings around, then join the walking tour, but if you prefer - like we do - you can always skip the stories and just walk around on your own pace.
The centre of the old city of Barcelona. It stretches from La Rambla to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to Ronda de Sant Pere.
We decided to do this tour on our own and surprisingly we did it in few hours.
I went on a food tour with a relatively new company called The Barcelona Taste (www.thebarcelonataste.com). They take small intimate groups around the city to between 4 and 5 restaurants and specialty shops that most would miss. They also talk all about the city, the Gótico neighborhood and the food culture. You eat and drink in each spot and at the end, you've had a seriously substantial and delicious meal. It was a great introduction to the city and the Gothic neighborhood and the recommendations they gave us along the way were all spot on!!
Walking the Barri Gotic area of Barcelona is a fascinating experience, tiny streets, unexpected squares and buildings still there from the Middle Ages. Inside the old walled city of Barcelona even some Roman remains can be found. You can do it on your own or use the Tourist Info Office walk for a guided tour.
Best to begin on Plaza Catalunya, or see travel directions below. Walk down Av. Portal de l'Angel to Plaza Nova where you see two sections of the original Roman walls and a couple of square towers from the 4th C. Then on to the Cathedral, in the Plaça de la Seu. The facade is currently undergoing restoration. The large square in front of the Cathedral was the former Roman forum of Barcelona.
Important - do not mistake the Sagrada Familia for the Cathedral. Many visitors do and the local people find that a serious error. Any given city can have one Cathedral only - the Bishop's seat - that is the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia in Barcelona.
Then around to the Cloisters, built between 1350 and 1448, to see the garden, including the fountain in the atrium. The cloister has white geese which may be visited. Enjoyed that :)
See also the Catalan Government building and City Hall on the Plaza de la Generalitat.
Then around the corner and down a small street (Pletat) to the Temple d'August, with it's 4 remaining columns from the Roman era. This building now houses the Catalan Hiker's association. If you speak Spanish or Catalan, there is some good information available here for good walkers.
Among other places, do stop in at the Capella de Santa Agata (Saint Agata Church), from the early 14th C, to see the Alterpiece.
Barri Gotic is Barcelona's oldest neighborhood. It's charmingly medieval in its look and layout. The narrow streets are filled with darkness and cavern-like wine bars, and it's easy to get lost here (as I did many times). The major thoroughfares are overcome with shops and tourists, so much that it can be difficult to walk, but there are plenty of smaller side streets where you won't encounter a lot of people. A highlight of the neighborhood is the Barri Gotic Cathedral and the area around it. If you're tired of Gaudi and Modernisme, Barri Gotic is the place to come.
The Gothic Quarter is the historical centre and the oldest part of the ciy of Barcelona and until nowadays it is the centre of the political and institutional representation. Some of the most interesting places of this neighbourhood of Barcelona are the Cathedral, the Church of Santa Maria del Pi and the squares (the Plaza del Rei, the plaza Real,the plaza del Pi y La Plaza Sant Jaume with the City hall of Barcelona and the Government of Catalunya). The Gothic Quarter is going down from Plaça Catalunya to the famous Ramblas, the famous 2 km boulevard ending at the harbour of Barcelona. The Gothic Quertar can be distinguished by its narrow streets and squares full of stores, street-cafés, terraces, bars and restaurants.
The Portal de l’Àngel is one of my favourite parts of the city, and well it should be: by 2005, rents here had climbed to as much as 180 euro a square metre, making it the second most expensive street in all of Spain. Obviously, prices have come down since the crash in 2008. Nevertheless, this is a chic shopping street in the Barri Gòtic that preserve much of its old-world feeling, despite the plethora of department, shoe and jewellery stores that line the sides of the street. There is also no shortage of culture, but formal and informal: in addition to a small Dali museum/shop here, you can also enjoy a number of buskers and street performers who set up shop on the sides of the street and in the middle. Things can get pretty busy around the Corte Inglés store at the top of the Portal, which is the widest area along the street, and which is where most performers set up shop. There is also a small crafts market here most weekends (and during the week too in the summer).
Close to the Ramblas is the old Gothic Quarter. It is comprised of narrow lanes with high medieval mansions that are quite worth a see. But the lanes are very confusing and it is easy to get lost there. Some of the mansions are really beautiful. Some small souvenir stalls are also there in the quarter.
Built in the middle of the 15th century as the residence of the viceroy (lloctinent), the Palau de Lloctinent mixes Gothic and Renaissance architecture. The interior courtyard is more typically Renaissance with arched porticoes and vaulted ceilings, while the exterior contains Gothic touches including gargoyles. The palace once served as the Arxiu de la Corona d'Aragó (archives of the Crown of Aragon). The palace is located between Plaça del Rei and the Cathedral of Barcelona, and although closed to the public, the palace's gate was wide open and allowed for a photo opportunity.
Secretly hidden within mediaeval buildings in Barri Gòtic are the astonishing ruins of the Roman Temple of Augustus. Four upright majestic Corinthian columns and the connecting architrave miraculously survived 2000 years within old buildings that were constructed over time. In the last century, they were exposed and made open to the public as seen today in celebration of the Roman heritage of Barcelona. One of the columns was actually moved to this site from another location, but the other three are in their original placement. The sight of the columns is incredible as one meanders through the alleys and enters what is seemingly another Gothic building from the outside, only to be faced with the towering ancient columns. This is one of my favourite spots in Barcelona.
Barri Gòtic is the old part of Barcelona and the site of the original settlement that predates Roman Barcino. During the reign of Emperor Augustus in 27 BC, the site was chosen for the city of Barcino. Even as the city expanded outwards over the centuries, this area remained the administrative part of the city where its most important temples and palaces were located. The district is appropriately named Barri Gòtic as much of its architecture is Gothic, dating from the 12th - 16th centuries. Among its treasured monuments is the Catalan Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona and the Royal Palace. With its mediaeval architecture, narrow streets, small shops and tapas bars, this district is the most charming in all of Barcelona.